On a big night in front of an important crowd, UALR flopped in a 75-64 loss to Arkansas State at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
UALR had an opportunity to move into second place in the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division. Instead, the Trojans dropped into fourth.
Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 18 points, but he had to make 10 of 10 free throws to do it. D’Andre Williams had 11 points and Alex Garcia-Mendoza 10.
UALR shot just 34.5 percent from the field, but that number was in the mid-20s much of the game. And the Trojans were out rebounded 41-23 by Arkansas State, which shot 54.2 percent.
Uncharacteristically, ASU made 7 of 15 three-pointers, many of them turning back short UALR rallies.
Donald Boone led ASU with 22 points, but it was Rashad Allison’s 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists from the point guard spot that hurt more.
There were two early events that put UALR in a position it could not recover from.
First was the start by ASU. The Red Wolves went up 11-0 by getting things done at the defensive end. They locked up UALR’s guards and forced Courtney Jackson to shoot a couple of jump shots. That, coupled with some turnovers and UALR’s failure to get back in transition, hurt the Trojans.
The second thing was probably even more important. Chuck Guy checked into the game with 14:46 left and UALR immediately went to him. Guy’s first three-pointer was blocked by ASU’s Rashad Allison on the right wing. Guy, who normally plays with as much confidence as anyone on the UALR roster, seemed to have very little after that. He didn’t attempt another first-half field goal.
In fact, Guy, Bozeman and Garcia-Mendoza made a combined zero field goals in the first half.
Guy made 1 of 6 field goals and finished with 4 points.